Camden, Maine, December 21, 2023 – Finding Our Voices has received a $7,500 grant from Camden National Bank.
The donation will boost two key programs of the grassroots nonprofit breaking the silence of domestic abuse across Maine: The Get Out Stay Out Fund and dating-abuse awareness in schools.
The Finding Our Voices Get Out Stay Out Fund provided $85,000 in 2023 for shelter, car, legal, home security, and food expenses to 160 women across Maine fleeing domestic abuse and trying to get on their feet and also provide safety and stability for their children. Patrisha McLean, CEO and founder of the nonprofit, said, “The holidays have brought a sharp spike in referrals from district attorney offices, homeless shelters, mental health and recovery caseworkers etc., so getting such a big grant right now is like a Christmas miracle."
This is the second year in a row that Camden National Bank has sponsored the group’s student-outreach campaign. The bank-sponsored Finding Our Voices posters featuring first person accounts of dating abuse by 25 students made it into almost every Maine high school and many colleges and universities in 2023.
Greg Dufour who is retiring as president and CEO of the bank after 14 years welcomed Patrisha McLean and the Finding Our Voices Board Treasurer Nicole Gogan into the bank’s headquarters following the awarding of the grant for a get-acquainted conversation with his successor, Simon Griffiths.
Patrisha McLean and Nicole Gogan of Finding Our Voices are flanked by Camden National Bank President Greg Dufour on the right and his successor Simon Griffiths on the left. “Mr. Dufour and Mr. Griffiths were good sports about wearing our trademark yellow for the photo,” said McLean. Yellow is the nonprofit’s color according to McLean, because “we are survivors of domestic abuse who have managed to cross over into the light of freedom and safety and are now shining a light for the benefit of all in Maine.” Photo by Viktorie Mathiau
McLean said, “This donation brings Camden National Bank's giving to Finding Our Voices to $45,000 in three years. The bank and our nonprofit both being based in Camden and both of us being all about community makes their wholehearted support especially meaningful. Camden National Bank was the first business to support us when we formed three years ago, so not only have they been critical in getting us off the ground they are helping us keep up with the momentum as our groundbreaking survivor-powered peer support spreads deeper and wider across Maine. I had limited business experience prior to escaping domestic abuse and starting Finding Our Voices so I have also really appreciated ongoing mentorship by Greg Dufour as well as the bank’s chief marketing officer Renee Smyth.”
Finding Our Voices mitigates the financial abuse, isolation, and stigma that are the main factors getting and keeping Maine women and children trapped in domestic abuse. It does this through innovative survivor-powered awareness campaigns including posters and bookmarks featuring McLean's photo portraits of 45 Maine survivors including Governor Janet T. Mills, financial assistance, online support groups, and community-care programs such as free healing retreats and pro-bono dignified, gold-standard dental care. The nonprofit also gathers and amplifies survivor voices and stories toward more justice, services, and rights for domestic abuse victims, To make a donation or for more information visit FindingOurVoices.net or reach out directly to McLean at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camden National Corporation (NASDAQ: CAC) is the largest publicly traded bank holding company in Northern New England with $5.8 billion in assets and was proudly listed as one of the Best Places to Work in Maine, for the past three years. Founded in 1875, Camden National Bank is a full-service community bank dedicated to customers at every stage of their financial journey. With 24/7 live phone support, 57 banking centers, and additional lending offices in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Camden National Bank offers the latest in digital banking, complemented by award-winning, personalized service. To learn more, visit CamdenNational.bank. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
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